Saturday, January 8, 2011

another note

from someone who just learned of my mother's death.

your mother was one of my favorite friends and yes, a remarkable woman. I talked with her briefly several times while she was in the assisted living in Ohio. She sounded so cheerful, talked about playing bridge and her other activities. Always said she was feeling fine.  I called a few times when she had visitors (you) or had to go to one of her activities. Then for awhile there was nothing and I saw the brief obit in the Islander.  I called Faye and talked with her daughter, and Faye sent me your e-mail.  Jane and I first met at the Island Chamber of Commerce, where we both volunteered. We hit it off right away. Her history on the Island was very much like mine, her parents having come here long ago, as did mine'  I missed her so much and always will. The ashes idea is true Jane. She talked a lot about you and your travels.  You certainly did have a remarkable mother and she had a remarkable family.  What can I say, but condolences for your loss.

I replied to her note- 

I send my condolences to you as well- I know how much you cared for my mother and she spoke of you frequently.  She enjoyed the Chamber of Commerce and her work there. 
Anna Maria has always been a special place for our family - as you may know my parents came over the "bridge street" bridge in 1951 on their honeymoon trip (they came to visit her uncle Bruce Cox and his wife Irma, who was the postmistress of Bradenton Beach for many years.  they then lived along Gulf Drive in a cottage my grandfather eventually bought from his brother in law and where we spent many vacations as children.  Now of course - fifty plus years have passed and the bridge street bridge is a fishing pier and the cottage is long gone turned into condos. 
eventually my grandfather settled in Holmes Beach on 70th street and as you know my parents also ended up on the island as well on Ivanhoe Lane in Key Royale.  my mother went to work in the elementary school with 1st and 3rd graders and also at the Chamber of Commerce.  she enjoyed pretty much everything she ever did but as you know her first love was travel. 
she lived a fairly long and very happy life and we are all grateful for the time we knew her and shared her love and friendship.  thank you for your lovely note.  I know your loss is also a big one and send a hug your way. 
today we went by another old haunt... the red barn flea market off 301.  this is a place I went fairly regularly with my parents when they first moved down here.  they have everything you could ever imagine or want.  we went for the fresh fruit and veggies and to just see what else was there.  on the way to the flea market we took a route that took us by the Pompey's Seafood Shack.

after doing our flea market shopping we headed back there for lunch of garlic shrimp, fried shrimp; hush puppies and lemonade.  a worthy establishment in our opinions.  we picked up a menu and made plans to stop by again on the way to the market or on the way home.

Friday, January 7, 2011

old haunts

today we had to find the local locations of the banks we do business with at home. so since we located both my bank and Phil's close together out near where my mom used to live (and other family members back through the decades) we went in that direction.   there are two roads on and off the island where my family spent decades either as part-time or full-time residents.  the southern one is called Cortez and the northern Manatee.  the island is Anna Maria and it is the northern most island south of Tampa Bay. 

whenever I would visit my parents when they lived there and then my mother after my dad died, we went out to lunch virtually every day.  frequently we took the Gulf of Mexico drive to the top of Longboat Key to a small neighborhood called Longbeach.  there were two of our favorite places at the first turn on the left, the Mar Vista (a mostly outdoor place) and Moore's Stone Crab (a mostly indoor place.)

because the weather was cool today we chose Moore's - we also picked this one because my husband LOVES stone crab (it is right up there on his list with Montreal smoked meat- LOL)

you can come by boat or by car to both of these restaurants

as you can see from the photos we had no takers for the outdoors, but we had a nice meal of chowder and stone crabs and key lime pie for Phil and chowder and fresh shrimp for me. 

as we left the restaurant we saw a blue heron right along side the parking lot - just waiting to have his picture taken.

after lunch we did the obligatory drive through the neighborhood to find where the peacocks were hanging out.  it didn't take too long to find them as it is a very small area.

there was something quite comforting in the ritual of this short trip.  I don't think there was ever a trip I made to the island in the last 20+ years where we didn't go down to one of these places and we always went to look for the peacocks.  it was as if my mom was right there in the car with us, traveling along silently in the back seat.

penny at work

penny is loving her new job in Florida! here she is working at her computer. (and I see her sister is hiding behind her - probably telling her what to do)

meanwhile we have been enjoying the view- here was last night"s sunset which I caught the tail end of- was busy in the house but hope to see many more of these before we depart.

I have been watching the water for an alligator to swimming here for us! too cold for that anyway.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

arrival again - again

this time to our new home away from home in Florida.  We arrived late last night after two days in the car with our two cats.  they did extremely well - Lucy only complained a little on and off for about an hour and Penny said not a word.  they found the night in the hotel room a complete lark because they got to sleep with us and walked around all night at intervals.  we didn't get tons of sleep but after 11 hours in the car I felt they needed "bathroom" access - although they hadn't eaten or had any water since well before noon. 

the second day went even more smoothly and we started out earlier so we drove directly to our cottage and got them in and unpacked the car before we grabbed dinner and came back to unpack.  we fell into bed fairly late but awoke this morning on the early side.  I got my computer set up for work and found my camera to take a photo of the morning view on the river.

and here are our kitties lounging around on the chair tonight...LOL

 as you can see - they do not appear overly stressed...

we spent our day setting up our offices and getting a few groceries and finding out where things are way out here in the country - we are way east (more than twenty miles) of the island where my mother's family lived for more than 60 years. 

but I will save that for another day's story.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


a new year!  everyone keeps saying this one HAS to be better for me.  from their mouths to god's ears for sure.

many posts ago I said one door closes and another opens- that seems to be especially relevant to new years.  we are headed south for a while.  get some warm weather and some sun.  we are taking the cats - LOL - big adventure - you remember them from the "kitties birthday" post I am sure.  they are five and good natured so I am sure the will tolerate the twenty hours in the car very well (please please- LOL)

so tomorrow starts a new chapter in my semi-free life.  going away for the winter weather to sunnier climes.  we are looking forward to visiting my brother in law Larry and our friends, the now infamous CBGB! Several friends have promised to visit.  so it will be fun and busy.

we had a really super surprise last week when Jeremy showed up with sympathy flowers on Tuesday night unexpectedly.  he stayed for dinner before going off to visit with friends.  we didn't know he had come in from NYC so this was completely a surprise!

so in honor of Jeremy's visit I thought I would post a few photos from the trip we took with Jeremy in the summer of 2009 to Vermont.  time flies - I was going to say last summer, but it is already the summer before last.  Vermont was my 49th state and when I had a business meeting in Boston, we decided to spend the remainder of the week in Vermont.  Jeremy and his friend Kate joined us, taking the Chinatown bus to Boston from NYC and then, when they had to return home to work, taking the train from Burlington back to NYC.

so here are a few photos:
Phil and Jeremy at Ben & Jerry's

 Shaker hats from a community we visited in NH

 horses (big kitties) at the Billing's Farm in Woodstock VT

 worms for sale at the general store